The NHS is offering a Spring COVID vaccination to those at highest risk of severe illness from COVID. This will help protect them if COVID-19 rates are high over the summer months and reduce their chances of needing hospital treatment if they do catch the virus.

Those who can get a spring vaccination include people aged 75 and over (by 30 June 2024), people with a weakened immune system, and residents of care homes for older adults.

Vaccinations in care homes for older adults began from the week of 15 April. Other eligible people will be invited to book their spring vaccination soon, with appointments starting from 22 April.

Dr Ananthakrishnan Raghuram (Raghu), Chief Medical Officer, NHS Gloucestershire said:

“We’re looking forward to welcoming people again for their spring vaccinations. Our teams of staff and volunteers will be on hand to help and answer any questions. COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, and we encourage those who are eligible to take up the offer to help protect them over the coming months.

Please be assured that if you’re eligible, you will receive an invitation from local NHS services to book in for your vaccination soon, there’s no need to contact your GP surgery at this time.”

Who can have the spring vaccination?

The spring vaccination is available to those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19:

  • people aged 75 and older
  • residents of care homes for older people
  • people aged 6 months and over who have a weakened immune system*

*You may be eligible for the vaccine if you have a disorder affecting your immune system, are undergoing immunosuppressive treatment, such as for cancer, or are taking medications that increase your risk of infection. You can check the summary of health conditions, treatments and medications that can cause a weakened immune system on the NHS website.

How to access a COVID vaccination

There are two main ways to access a COVID vaccination:

  1. Via appointment at a GP practice-led vaccination site

The bulk of vaccinations continue to be provided by appointment through GP practice-led vaccination sites across the county. Please note that these appointments are not available on the national booking system (NBS), people will receive an invite directly from local NHS services to book (often via text if your GP practice has a contact number). At the moment, we are asking people who are eligible for a spring booster not to contact their GP surgery, local NHS services will be in touch soon.

  1. Via the national booking system (NBS)

People may choose to book a COVID vaccine at a participating community pharmacy using the NHS App or on the NHS website.

Alternatively, people who aren’t able to book online can call 119 where translators will also be available to support people if needed.

People who are housebound and managers of care homes for older people will be contacted by an appropriate NHS Team to arrange a visit.